A Random Image

Posts Tagged ‘some sweet-ass verbiage’

 
|| September 16, 2011 || 1:25 am || Comments (17) ||

I am from Break Something: A heart, a bone, a liver
I am from bound and determined and from get the job done and from we don’t do fail
I’m from one hand easy on the wheel and one hand tapping on the outside of the car door to keep time

I am from give me a break and don’t be a chump and brook no bullying

I am from poor white trash and hayseed nobility and every penny earned. I’m from new, sweaty money: Fortunes carefully stacked in the age of transistors only to be toppled over and made into toothpicks for robber barons.

I am from “GOD! GOD BLESS AMERICA! Goodbye Italy. Goodbye Scotland and Ireland and Germany. We are taking you to America in little pieces under petticoats and in the heels of shoes, in songs and saucepots and ceremony!” I am from boys that lost their lives too soon and women who buried them. I am from toting the flag home and remembering, never forgetting, sending another on to do what needs to be done. I am from standing the gap and saluting. I am from Devil Dogs and all those American conflicts as far back as anybody can count. I am from veins that are stripes and eyes that are stars and I would not want it any other way.

I am from whiskeyed kisses and stories told by the creek bank and oh my God there can’t possibly be this much simple happy in all of the Cosmos.

I am from Red Rover, Red Rover, you can come on over but you’re gonna have to break my wrist to to take me back with you.

I am from always knowing God, even before anyone told me about Him. I am from a reverse-apostate mother and a father who unblinkingly disbelieved it. All of it. Then he changed his mind, but I didn’t care anymore. I am from the far, far opposite of not-caring.

(speaking of the far opposite of not-caring:) I am from Mike B. and Keith and Jeff and Tony and Brooks and Jeffrey and Lee and Michael and a better Michael and Joseph and Ron and Stefan and Maynard and Richard and Gabriel. I am not from Tommy, though I once gave him credit for that; it was an illusion.

I am from “Look it up in the dictionary, Elizabeth.” I am from sitting in a movie theater thirteen times to watch Star Wars with the man who gave geekery a good and sexy name. I am from hands on the hips, purse on the lips, ‘why-can’t-you-just’.

I am from mean collarbones and bare knuckles and nearly bleeding to death and self-dressing catastrophic wounds. I am from hospital beds that masquerade as graves and people that miraculously pull themselves out of them.

I am from Memaw putting a hot brick in a towel and nestling my feet against it, four cousins wiggling and giggling beside me underneath quilts that our mommas helped piece. The wind whips icy and howls and I am not from it nor for it nor desirous of it. I am from Memaw’s quilts themselves, gifts from loving and careful hands of women who all both spanked and doted on me when the one or the other was needed.

I am from catch-and-release lightning bugs, from the skins of cicadas.

I am from smiles, from wisecracking, from limb-tangling tacklehugs and peach juice dribbling down, down, down, into fertile and storied soil. I am from the bare toes that wiggle into that soil, and beatific faces that stretch, eyes closed and appreciative, toward the sun.

I am from Love sprouted in a borrowed car and the hallefuckinglujah chorus.

Afterward, when she let herself into the apartment, it was with a great sense of satisfaction. She felt easy, taut, sated; all her senses were heightened in a way that made her feel triumphant. She sure did have a knack for the During, but the After always made everything so delicious to her. The gentle music of her keys against the inside curve of the bowl by the door gave her pause, for instance. Why, imagine! Such a marvel that things so simple as door keys and her grandmother’s silky white bowl could come together and make subtle, pleasurable sounds!

Everything, every one thing in The After was pleasure; she drank in the tactile, reveled in tastes, lingered over sounds. Today she had sung ‘Mannish Boy’ to herself in her head the entire ride home, looking doe-eyed on the press of bodies. The jostles and jerks (and the smooth forward momentums between) were just the natural extension of their prelude back there fourteen blocks away.

He had been possessed of exquisite taste in linens. She appreciated that in a man. Also appreciated was his lack of worry at where those fine linens ended up; not every man wants his stupidly expensive sheets ground into the wall of a stairwell. She adored a sporting attitude.

Icy orange juice to slake a thirst: There was no hunger, not yet. She still felt full in that tender way, her stomach not inclined toward want for a little while longer.

She took her time in the shower, lollygagging there in the light steam, greedily enjoying the smell of her sweet almond soap. Someone had made her a present of it five or six years ago and she’d been using it since. The gift-giver had moved far away; she didn’t miss him when he did. If they discontinued the soap, she would search high and low for bars of it for years and years and probably a couple minutes after that.

When she turned off the spray, she paused for a moment, getting caught up in the sensation of a drop of water on her eyelashes. It executed a perfect dive onto her right foot, splashing messily there, ending itself and beginning four more droplets. She thought about this while wrapping herself in a downy robe, while pouring herself a cup of coffee. She grabbed a book from the stack of six or so she was reading (she was always paying her attentions to several concurrently) and headed for the reading nook she’d crafted next to the window. After placing her coffee and book on the tiered table next to it, she settled into her overlarge chair, propping her heels on the seat’s edge. The orange velour kissed her arches and welcomed them home.

She pointed her toes, she looked out over the city. She admired the light. She smiled as she thought about the fact that she was always the leaver and never the stayer; she wrapped her arms tightly about herself, dropped her head and grinned like a giddy fool, pleasure emanating from her every part.

Diving into the Wreck

First having read the book of myths,
and loaded the camera,
and checked the edge of the knife-blade,
I put on
the body-armor of black rubber
the absurd flippers
the grave and awkward mask.
I am having to do this
not like Cousteau with his
assiduous team
aboard the sun-flooded schooner
but here alone.

There is a ladder.
The ladder is always there
hanging innocently
close to the side of the schooner.
We know what it is for,
we who have used it.
Otherwise
it is a piece of maritime floss
some sundry equipment.

I go down.
Rung after rung and still
the oxygen immerses me
the blue light
the clear atoms
of our human air.
I go down.
My flippers cripple me,
I crawl like an insect down the ladder
and there is no one
to tell me when the ocean
will begin.

First the air is blue and then
it is bluer and then green and then
black I am blacking out and yet
my mask is powerful
it pumps my blood with power
the sea is another story
the sea is not a question of power
I have to learn alone
to turn my body without force
in the deep element.

And now: it is easy to forget
what I came for
among so many who have always
lived here
swaying their crenellated fans
between the reefs
and besides
you breathe differently down here.

I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank
of something more permanent
than fish or weed

the thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck
the thing itself and not the myth
the drowned face always staring
toward the sun
the evidence of damage
worn by salt and away into this threadbare beauty
the ribs of the disaster
curving their assertion
among the tentative haunters.

This is the place.
And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair
streams black, the merman in his armored body.
We circle silently
about the wreck
we dive into the hold.
I am she: I am he

whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes
whose breasts still bear the stress
whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies
obscurely inside barrels
half-wedged and left to rot
we are the half-destroyed instruments
that once held to a course
the water-eaten log
the fouled compass

We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way
back to this scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
in which
our names do not appear.

// Adrienne Rich